I finally made something I can blog about! I have been making lots of stuff but they're all prototypes for Paprika Patterns next pattern, so I want to wait with those for a bit. This make was born both because I really wanted to make a button down and because I needed something nice to wear to my grandfathers funeral. He passed a couple of weeks ago and we went back to the Netherlands for a few days to attend. My grandfather was known for his jokes and the funny little things he did, but also for always dressing like a gentleman. I didn't bring any clothes with me that would be suitable so I decided to make myself an Archer for the occasion.
I ordered this fabric from Cousette, a French online fabric shop with the most gorgeous fabrics. The longer I browse through them, the more I want. This one is now sold out but was called 'Souffle le vent' and is a Japanese double gauze. I had never seen or touched this kind of fabric before so I was curious and I really loved the print. The pattern is weaved in on one layer, the other layer is the same colour but plain. It's nicely displayed in the pocket, made using Jen's alternate pocket tutorial. It is the most beautiful cotton I have seen; it's kind of heavy but it still has some drape, and it hardly creases the way you'd expect from a 100% cotton. If you ever doubt, take a double gauze. They're not cheap but you'll love touching and wearing it. Cutting it out was a puzzle though, I ordered the amount of fabric for 60" width, but I discovered it was 45". It took me quite a while but now you know that it is possible if you cut size 8 or under.
If I would have followed the size chart, I'd have cut B/W/H as 4/2/10. I wasn't sure about the bust and decided to play it safe with a 6. Not because of my actual bust, but I have broad shoulders. Drafting between sizes from 6 to 2 to 10 would result in a ridiculously hourglass shirt, so for the waist I went with 4. I checked the ease on the hips and figured I could go with 8 instead of 10. Although I am happy with those choices, there's clearly some problems. I am too tall and my shoulders are too square. It might look like the shirt is too tight at the shoulders looking at those draglines, but they're fine in terms of movement. I think the problem is that the slope of my shoulders is less than what the pattern is drafted for.
The other problem is my length. I am 5 ft 10" and that length is equally divided between body parts. That means that the shirt is on the short side at my hips, but my waist is also lower than the shirt's. I hemmed the shirt with bias tape to lose as little seam allowance as I could. It makes for a pretty neat seam finish anyway. The sleeves were on the short side too. I made good use of the seam allowances on the sleeves and cuffs to get some length, and they're just about right. Overall the shirt looks fine, I just would have liked it like, 2 inches longer.
Seeing those problems it's kind of a muslin, but a very wearable one in an expensive fabric :) It was perfect for the occasion, and I could not have done it differently anyway because I barely had enough fabric as it was. I loved making it, I really tried my hardest to sew it super neat. I love how a button down sort of shows your skill level in that way, with all the topstitching and buttonholes. I've adapted the pattern and my next Archer is waiting to be cut out in a wool flannel. The quest for the perfect Archer continues!
P.S. Have you read about Archer Appreciation month? Join Rochelle and Erin in a celebration of this pattern!